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2008 Jeep Commander

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2008 Jeep Commander Review

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Jeep purists never got over the loss of the original Cherokee, so it's no surprise the 2008 Jeep Commander bears a striking resemblance to the former's beloved and boxy design. Unlike the old Cherokee, the Commander offers far better interior accommodations, including a third-row seat. The Commander is Jeep's largest SUV to date and, although it shares much of its chassis and suspension with the Grand Cherokee (as well as the availability of a HEMI V8 engine), no one will ever mistake the two. While the Commander doesn't offer the same cargo space as a full-sized Chevrolet Tahoe or even Dodge Durango, it should suit most families looking for a workable combination of comfort, power and superior off-road ability.

You'll Like This Car If...

This is the SUV for you if you like the bolted-together industrial look, want seven-passenger capacity and have an occasional desire for serious off-road capability. If you covet Jeep's tough "Trail Rated" image and reputation in a quiet, fully-equipped, leather-lined cabin, you'll like the 2008 Jeep Commander all the more.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your SUV needs are more about fashion than function, and/or your driving preferences are more attuned to on-road ride and handling than off-road aptitude, this may not be the car for you. There are sleeker, less-expensive and more fuel-efficient SUV and crossover wagon choices available to get you around town.

What's New for 2008

The 4.7-liter V8 receives a big bump in horsepower and torque, while select trims receive new options such as SIRIUS BackSeat TV and an iPod interface.

Driving the Commander
Driving Impressions

The standard 3.7-liter V6 is adequate on- or off-road with light passenger and cargo loads, but would be underpowered with heavier loads or at higher altitudes. Steering is nicely weighted...

... and fairly precise, while the on-road ride is surprisingly quiet and smooth. Braking is strong and fade-free. Compared to the only slightly more economical V6, the 4.7-liter V8 delivers considerably more torque and horsepower, is a much better performer and hauler and is recommended for its superior balance of power, price and fuel economy. The hot-rod HEMI V8 is delightfully smooth and powerful at any speed, as you would expect. Given its hefty weight and high center of gravity, on-road cornering is not the Commander's forte, but truly impressive off-road capability is. Also impressive are the Limited's leather- and woodgrain-trimmed interior and ultra-comfortable front bucket seats.

HEMI V8 Engine
This smooth and muscular powerplant, named for its '50s high-performance ancestors, is an always-eager sweetheart, electronically tethered to your throttle foot. Despite its size, power and simple OHV (pushrod) valvetrain, it delivers respectable EPA fuel economy ratings of 13 miles per gallon city and 18 miles per gallon highway, due to its Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which transparently disables four of its eight cylinders at light loads to conserve fuel.

Quadra-Drive II Active Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
Jeep's most advanced four-wheel-drive technology, Quadra-Drive II uses front and rear Electronic Slip Differentials (ELSDs) to transfer up to all available torque to any individual wheel with traction. Standard with the HEMI V8 and available with the other two engines, it is as capable in difficult conditions as any system, either on or off the road.

2008 Jeep Commander Details
Interior

Jeep's first three-row vehicle provides good two-row room, but we wouldn't want to spend much time in that way-back third row with just 28.9 inches of legroom and 35.7 inches of headroom. Behind it are grocery hooks and a bin with a clever three-way lid, but little cargo capacity with the seatbacks up. Echoing the exterior's "bold, rugged, constructed" theme, the base Commander cabin has cloth seats and a nicely textured upper dash. Sixteen Allen-head screws retain eight large, round air vents, while simulated Allen heads encircle the gearshift knob and steering wheel hub. The second row splits 40/20/40, the third row 50/50, and both fold flat for cargo.

Exterior

While the Commander's shape is cinder-block blunt, much wind-tunnel effort has been devoted to reducing aerodynamic drag for fuel efficiency and interior quietness. The big, blocky outside mirrors, for example, are virtually invisible to the wind, according to the vehicle's chief designer. The roof is raised 3.15 inches, with the upturn beginning over the second row to provide more headroom. The roof-rack stanchions resemble buttress-style bridge supports, and five large simulated Allen screws appear to hold on each trapezoidal fender flare. The uplevel Limited wears chrome on its signature seven-slot grille, front fascia, body-side moldings, roof-rail crossbars and the two large liftgate grab handles that assist access to rooftop cargo.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2008 Jeep Commander Sport boasts a 3.7-liter V6 engine, 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels, power front windows, heated power mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, AM/FM/CD six-speaker audio and rear park assist. Its standard safety package includes multi-stage front and three-row side-curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with "Roll Mitigation" that senses an impending roll-over and works to prevent it. The loaded Limited adds a 4.7-liter V8 engine, leather seats with heated fronts and a four-way power passenger's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear heating and air conditioning, power-adjustable pedals, CD/DVD/HDD/MP3 player with touchscreen, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power flip-up liftgate glass, power sun roof, ParkView rear back-up camera and twin tinted second-row skylights.

Optional Equipment

Available options include the Overland trim, which adds a 5.7-liter HEMI engine, 18-inch wheels, platinum finish trim and grille work and suede seats with Overland embroidery. Other options include chrome wheels, driver's eight-way and passenger's four-way power seats, an engine block heater, 20G hard drive audio and navigation system, ParkView rear backup camera, power rear liftgate, UConnect hands-free communication, rear heating and air conditioning, rear-seat DVD, "Saddle Brown" seating surfaces and a "popular equipment group" that includes heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals and adjustable roof-rail crossbars. Four-wheel-drive choices include Quadra-Trac I (V6 model), Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II.

Under the Hood

Chrysler's modern HEMI V8 gets all the attention, but it is costly and, despite the best efforts of its fuel-saving MDS, less fuel-efficient than its more affordable stablemates. Potential buyers should test drive and consider the more frugal V6 or the mid-range V8, depending upon their anticipated towing and hauling needs. The HEMI is more glamorous and more fun when you tickle its throttle, but you don't need 330 horses to cruise around town on level ground.

3.7-liter V6
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD), 14/18 (4WD)

4.7-liter V8
305 horsepower @ 5650 rpm
334 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19 (2WD, gasoline), 13/18 (4WD, gasoline), 9/13 (2WD, E85), 9/13 (4WD, E85)

5.7-liter V8 HEMI
330 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
375 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 (2WD), 13/17 (4WD)

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2008 Jeep Commander Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 689 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Awesome, has everything I need and then some

By on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, plenty of room, gets road respect."

Cons: "city gas milage really sucks,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"WE LOVE IT! Great cruiser for long trips! I bought this car 5 years ago and have never had any problems with it. Except for regular maintenance like brakes, tires and oil changes, I have had no problems at all. Has plenty of get up and go. We live in a snow belt district and have never had to even think twice about road conditions. I am a tow truck driver and MUST be at work in the winter, NO EXCEPTIONS! OFF ROADING...this has third row seating and many comforts, so even though it has a Jeep logo, it is more of a family car that will get you through reasonable situations, I wouldn't push it by heavy mudding or trying to take it over boulders, that's just common sense. City gas mileage is terrible. It probably burns more gas sitting at a red light then stop sign stop and go. If you do a lot of city driving and have a small gas budget you may reconsider buying this. If gas is not a consideration and you like room and comfort, this is a great Jeep! I am a tow truck driver and have a lot of gear I load from Jeep to tow truck everyday. With plenty of cargo space in the rear, the second row seating still allows me to do my everyday things like car seats and grand kids, without having to unload. The third row seating is great for short trips with the family. Of course I have to remove my towing gear but be have fit 5 adults and 2 car seats for short trips and not 'MUCH' complaints about leg and room space. We all agree anything longer than an hour ride would not be very pleasant. Loaded with people there is no cargo space so unless you have a bottle of water,... In the summer, my wife and I go on tent camping trips and are able to load the rear with everything we need. We never have to worry about having the room to buy or take extra gear. We do have a 'lot of gear' and have been asked how we fit it all in."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Owned since new!

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great winter driver and great tow vehicle."

Cons: "gas milage,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The Commander is a great vehicle. We used this jeep for everything! We live in an area that get lots of snow and the jeep went through everything the New England weather had to offer. We ski every weekend and had no problem doing a 2 hour+ drive during a blizzard. Have recently revitalized the vehicle and expect the Commander to last 2 more years before I retire it."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

07 Commander Limited luxury SUV

By on Monday, March 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable cruiser that will go anywhere"

Cons: "No longer made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My Commander is a 07 limited with the 5.7 Hemi. I use it for winter travel and towing. Over the years I have owned a number of 4 X 4 SUVs starting with Scouts in the 60's. This is my first Jeep and it has been a joy to own. It has required nothing but basic maintenance. At Christmas we took a 4,000mi trip from Oregon to Michigan. We had plenty of bad weather and bad roads but the Commander handled it all without a whimper. Our gas mileage ranged from a high of twenty mpg to a low of 16. It is very quiet and comfortable even when driving as many as 14 hours a day. It tows my car trailer much better than my Ford F150 did and gets better mileage doing it. I wish they still made the Commander. I haven’t seen any SUV 4X4 that I would rather have."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love my Jeep

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, ride, quiet, features, reliability, comfort"

Cons: "They don't make it anymore."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My 2007 Jeep Commander Limited with the Hemi has 81,000 mi of trouble free driving. It is comfortable, quiet, and a great tow rig. I use it to tow autos on an 18 foot car hauler and it handles it great. I just took a 4500 mi trip with it from Oregon to Michigan over Christmas and it performed flawlessly. I averaged 17mpg going east and 16.5 going west back to Oregon. We drove the speed limit which in several states was 80mph and were heavily loaded. We drove long days 14 t0 15 hours and it was very comfortable. More comfortable than many cars I have driven. It has great power for passing and the mountain passes. We used the four wheel drive several times and it has amazing traction in snow and on ice. I have owned several 4X4 Suv’s beginning in the 60’s with Scouts and it is amazing how far they have come. The Commander has every luxury feature you could want and many more features then luxury cars of just a few years ago. This Commander has been an outstanding vehicle."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

The best overall SUV I ever owened. Seven total.

By on Monday, November 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,823

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun, Tight, great breaking, great in bad weather."

Cons: "Little more room in rear of 3rd row seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The stadium seating of 7 is great. comfort and reliability absolutely the best. I wish Chrysler still made them."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My favorite vehicle ever.

By on Sunday, August 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive. Good in the snow."

Cons: "gas mileage was the only issue."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This Jeep took me and my children through many winters. reliable and dependable. Loved this car. Only issue was the gas mileage."

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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